MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Investigator Scientist

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Cambridge, United Kingdom

Investigator Scientist
Starting Salary £30,914 to £33,755 per annum
Salary Range £30,914 to £39,381 per annum
Fixed Term until 31st August 2024
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK

An opportunity is available for an Electrophysiologist to join the group of Dr Marta Zlatic at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) (https://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/group-leaders/t-to-z/marta-zlatic) to investigate the circuit basis of learning and decision-making. The Zlatic group research programme is to discover the basic principles by which neural circuits implement fundamental computations with the specific focus on the circuit implementation of learning and decision-making. We use the tractable genetic model system, the Drosophila melanogaster larva which has the same ground-plan as the adult Drosophila and other insects, but contains fewer (ca. 12,000) and smaller neurons. In this system we can 1) image the entire nervous system at synaptic resolution with electron microscopy (EM), and map complete circuits with synaptic resolution, 2) record individual neurons with patch-clamp, 3) constrain models of circuit function with comprehensive structural and functional connectivity maps, and 4) use powerful genetic tools to selectively manipulate individual neurons to test models’ predictions and elucidate the functional roles of specific circuit motifs.

The goal of the project is 1) to determine the signs and strengths of monosynaptic connections between brain neurons that comprise the insect learning centre, the mushroom body (MB), and that have been shown to be structurally connected based on EM reconstruction, and 2) to investigate changes in the activity of neurons in this network that are induced by specific associative-learning tasks. With this information we will constrain models of circuit function and test the models’ predictions by selectively manipulating specific neurons in freely behaving animals.

We are looking for a motivated and skilled individual who will thrive in a highly collaborative and supportive research group. You should have PhD in neuroscience or in a relevant biological subject and a background in patch-clamp recording, preferably in vivo. Prior experience with Drosophila or insects is desirable but not essential.

This position is fixed term until 31st August 2024 funded by a grant from the ERC.

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Marta Zlatic at mzlatic@mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk. Additional information about the Neurobiology Division and the Laboratory as a whole can be found at http://www.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk.

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology is a research institute within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at www.ukri.org.

Working for UKRI MRC provides a whole host of benefits including a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement (40 ½ days including bank holidays and privilege days) and Benenden Healthcare membership. You will also have access to employee shopping / travel discounts, on site sport and social facilities, as well as salary sacrifice cycle to work schemes and childcare vouchers.

To apply and access full details of the vacancy please visit our job board at https://mrc.tal.net/vx/lang-en-GB/appcentre-1/candidate/postings/1426.
If you are unable to apply online please contact us at recruit@mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk.

Closing date: 13th July 2020

Final appointments will be subject to a pre-employment screening.

The Medical Research Council is an Equal Opportunities Employer who participates in the Disability Confident scheme.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.